By now you likely know the sad news of Mr. Peanut’s passing. He died in the explosion of his Nutmobile, following an accident that caused him to swerve off a cliff.
The iconic Planters’ mascot did not die in vain, though. In a commercial, the company ushered him out of pop culture as a hero: He died after saving the life of his friends, actors Wesley Snipes and Matt Walsh.
But it’s not quite the end. In another commercial that aired during the Super Bowl, the 104-year-old legume was resurrected — by Kool-Aid Man’s giant, sad tear, no less — and reborn as Baby Nut, who carries the spirit and wisdom of Mr. Peanut with him.
The dapper and monocled Mr. Peanut is perhaps one of the world’s best known brand ambassadors. Designed by Virginia schoolboy Antonio Gentile, who won an art contest for it, Mr. Peanut was first introduced in 1916, the year before the United States entered World War I. Since then, the Planters’ mascot has been a ubiquitous sight in advertisements, on peanut cans, cups, on black velvet and many more items.
“Mr. Peanut is one of the best known icons in advertising,” Samantha Hess, the brand manager for Planters, told Adweek. “But he also has been along for quite some time and isn’t necessarily one of the most relevant and contemporary out there.”
Hess said it was that thinking that led Planters to be open to the idea of killing off — and bringing back to life — its beloved mascot and set the stage for something new.
We don’t know what the future holds for Baby Nut, but the original Mr. Peanut lives on in the land of antiques and collectibles. Mr. Peanut memorabilia is still collected and valued and here are some of the recent items that have been selling at auctions and shops: